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Noble, Redmond officials discuss Roberts Field's future

By Alicia Inns
Published On: Oct 16 2013 07:18:03 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 16 2013 09:54:44 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns talks with the new interim director at Roberts Field and why the city manager wanted a change.

REDMOND, Ore. -

The Redmond Airport has a new pilot -- so to speak.

The new interim director, Robert Noble, has been on the job for a few weeks now.

Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky knows the importance of the airport to Central Oregon.

"I think there is a lot of untapped potential of what this airport can mean to the region," Witcosky said this week.

He also knows when it's time for a change, after talking to people in the community.

"I've talked about it with citizens and people with the city and leadership in the area that we want the Redmond airport to be the best airport of its kind in the country," Witcosky said.

To help move closer to the goals, Witcosky and others have in mind, he hired Robert Noble.

"It's not just a transportation function, but it is a hub," Noble said. "It is a jewel, and that it is our regional future, in terms of access to the rest of the world."

It's a world they want to bring you closer to by expanding business partnerships with commercial and private aviation and renegotiating a lease with the Forest Service,  which uses land by the airport.

In June, the airport added a long-awaited flight to and from Los Angeles and a quick Alaska Airlines flight to Portland.

"We want to continue to meet the needs of the folks who live in Central Oregon and the people who have businesses here or might want to have businesses here," Witcosky said.

For Noble, at Roberts Field, there's nothing that's not manageable.

"The sky's not falling," Noble said. "We're in good hands. I have very high confidence that with the support of the city manager and the city council, the community will continue to have a great asset."

Noble plans to stay on as interim director and be part of the process of selecting the permanent director in a few months. You can expect some changes to customer service, concessions and a project designed to overlay the runway in the near future.

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